Lisa Robbin Young

How To Stay In Flow As A Creative Entrepreneur

Whether you're a Chaotic, Linear, or Fusion Creative, we all need at least a little bit of "flow" in our work. Those times when things just feel effortless and time flies (in a good way). Chaotics need more time in flow than Linears do, but we all have that need. to some degree. There are probably some parts of working on your business that you love.  For the creative entrepreneur, they are often the times when you get to create - your zone of genius, so to speak.  They’re the reasons you got into this in the first place.  The days you know you will be working on this stuff are the days you are excited to get out of bed and get started.  And chances are, those are the parts of your work that you are best at.  We all love doing things we do well. That's part of why Fusions struggle to pick just one thing.

What is 'Flow'?

These are the times that we find flow.  Flow is a term from positive psychology that describes being absorbed in the task at hand.  When you are intently focused, totally involved, and joyfully energized by your work, you are in flow.  Losing track of time and working on something for hours at a stretch without even thinking about taking a break is often a hallmark of the state.  

The great news is that as an entrepreneur, you can tailor your job to fit your strengths.  That’s right!  You can spend most of your time doing the things you like best.  You can make ‘being in the zone’ your default state at work.  It takes a little effort - particularly if you're just getting started, AND it's SO worth it!

What Are You Best At?

Self-awareness is the first step to finding and protecting your flow.  Take the time to think deeply about what parts of your job you enjoy.  Ask your friends and your business mentors what they think your most significant strengths are.  You might find some unexpected insights in their perspective.  

Once you have a good sense of what tasks you like and excel at, break those tasks down to figure out what about them makes them fit you so well.  It also pay dividends to invest in learn more about it. Put in the time to learn every bit of information about it. There are tons of tips, tricks and tutorials online, like that react tutorial, for instance, if your niche is coding.

Do they require interpersonal skills?  Are they logistical?  Are they the nuts and bolts of creating, like writing, coding, or working in the Adobe Suite?  Are they aspects of marketing?  The more specific you can be, the more you can tailor your schedule to play to your strengths.  The Creative Freedom Entrepreneur Type quiz can also help you uncover those natural strengths that make work easier for you.

Do What You Do Best

Once you have a strong sense of what you do best, what kinds of tasks will bring you into a flow state, prioritize them for yourself.  Many of us feel obligated to slog away at jobs we find difficult and unpleasant because we are proving to ourselves how much grit and determination we have.  Or, because we think we "need" the paycheck. If programming and data mining is your cup of tea, then you can learn about career path in analytics. It's a path that won't only fill your pockets but your heart and mind will be at ease.

The thing is, making yourself work on tasks you hate is taking time away from the things you excel at, and chances are you aren’t very good at them anyway.  That’s to say nothing of how exhausting and discouraging it is to spend your time struggling just to keep with a task someone else can do quickly and easily.  

To protect your flow, make it a major consideration in your hiring and outsourcing.  Find people or companies that can take tasks off your plate and give you time to do what you love.  Hate SEO?  SEO marketing companies can do that for you.  Not suited to be an accountant?  Hire for that position.  

By protecting your flow, you will be able to do your best work.  And by hiring and outsourcing strategically, you will empower your staff to find their flow, as well.  Remember, we often do our best work when we are in a flow state.  Imagine how your business can soar when everyone is attaining flow regularly!

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